City preservationist Joyce Matz dies at 92

She fought to scale back Trump City
September 20, 2017 12:25PM

Lever House (credit: SOM) and rendering of Trump City

Joyce Matz, a publicist known for routinely going toe-to-toe with powerful developers to preserve New York City landmarks, died on Monday at the age of 92.

Matz was the chairwoman of Community Board 5’s landmarks committee in the 1980s, but she truly made her mark as a spokesperson for various organizations fighting to prevent the demolition of some of the city’s most historic buildings, the New York Times reported. Her causes over the years have included Lever House, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church and the Town Hall.

In the 1990s, she was involved in efforts to scale back Trump City, a residential development on Manhattan’s West Side. At the time, she was disappointed that civic groups struck a compromise with Trump.

“How much would Trump have to offer me for me to work with him?” Matz told the Times. “A million? Two million? Five million? I’m lucky I don’t need the money. It changes your whole perspective on things, when you have a family to support and the money’s tight and you need to pay the mortgage. I don’t have that. It’s very easy for me to be honest.” [NYT] — Kathryn Brenzel